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Black History Month 2020

October 3, 2020 11:06 AM
By Ed Davey

Black History Month

October is Black History Month - a time to celebrate the enormous contributions Black people have made to our country.

Their contributions have shaped our national identity and are evident in every field from literature, politics, science, business, music and arts.

Throughout this month, we remember icons from the trailblazing composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, to Margaret Busby - Britain's youngest and first Black female book publisher.

We also celebrate those who helped establish our National Health Service, joined the war effort, marched for justice and worked tirelessly to build a better world for all of us.

Just a few months ago, the world watched in horror as George Floyd died at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis.

The violence inflicted on him and so many other Black people across America is abhorrent, and it is time everyone woke up to the multiple injustices Black people face - and not simply in America.

In the wake of George Floyd's killing, the demand for justice, that Black lives matter, has reverberated around the world and a new generation of activists has arisen in the longstanding battle for racial justice.

We must support these movements and help them provoke reform, in America, in our own country and wherever racial injustice and racial discrimination raises its ugly head.

The shocking reality is, systemic discrimination is a lived reality for Black people; we see it in classrooms, in offices and throughout the criminal justice system.

For example, in the UK a Black person is 47 times more likely to be subject to Section 60 'Suspicionless' Stop and Search than a white person. This is unacceptable. That's why I have demanded that the government scrap that power once and for all.

The last few months have made it clear that there must no longer be anywhere to hide for racial injustice: the curtain must be finally being pulled down on systems complicit in the oppression and dehumanisation of Black people.

We can longer be content with the status quo, nor can we merely pay lip service to issues of racial injustice. It's upon all of us to start doing the honest, hard, uncomfortable work of dismantling anti-Black racism.

As a party, we will continue to stand with Black communities and we will keep affirming the fundamental truth that Black lives matter.